Low Buy Update #2: 3-Month No Buy, Maximalist Skincare, My Colour Palette, Interests Beyond Skincare

Wow, has it been 3 months already? It’s time for another Low Buy update! Before you continue, please check out the below posts for more context about this one

Let’s Low Buy! My Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism
Low Buy Update #1: 3 Month Check-In + Skincare Empties
Spring 2022 Skincare Empties


6-Month Low Buy Update

3-Month No-Buy

I’m patting myself on the back, I haven’t purchased any skincare in the past 3 months since I published my first skincare haul of 2022. The haul I posted back in April have been the only products I have bought this year so far and I’ve always looked at my skincare collection first when wanting to try something new.

The only temptation the past few months was on Instagram; I participated in giveaways of skincare bundles, but didn’t win anything πŸ˜›

Now that we’re in July, I emptied out a ton of serums including the Man:yo Bifida Biome Complex Ampoule and I am near the end of Sioris My First Essener. I gave myself permission to buy some skincare that I need. I already placed an order on YesStyle so stay tuned for another skincare haul post!


Maximalist Skincare Routine

Skincare routine from Winter 2021

For the past year and half I have been playing around with minimizing my skincare routine from an average of 5 to 3 skincare items. I have tried many times to cut down on the number of products in my skincare routine, but alas, it never lasts long. I’ve come to accept that I like having a more elaborate skincare routine, or just certain skincare products on hand when the situation calls for it. As someone who creates skincare content, I have experimented a lot in many realms of skincare and have reaped the rewards in most instances – layers of hydration, tretinoin, chemical exfoliants, soothing creams, fermented essences and serums. I’ve come to understand what I like and what my skin likes, and unfortunately for my wallet, it really likes variety when it comes to skincare. I notice a difference in my skin’s quality and vibrance when I am not as high maintenance and I enjoy skincare in general so I’ll be sticking to my somewhat maximalist skincare routine and having those extra products on an as-need or feel-like-it basis.


Discovering My Colour Palette

In the makeup corner of the beauty world, I still have not purchased anything *pats self on back*. I almost broke my no-makeup buy streak recently – I was really really tempted to buy a bunch of cool toned lip colours from Rom&nd that seem to be well loved (Pink Tassel, Bare Grape, #Figfig). But I did the best thing possible – I shopped my collection and discovered a treasure trove of lovely cool-toned colours that compliment my complexion.

I have actually been shopping my stash more frequently now that I am settled in a new apartment and have easy access to my collection. I occassionally decluttered a makeup product here and there, eventually noticing that majority of the decluttered makeup falls in the warm-toned spectrum; My suspicion for this warm-toned makeup declutter is that I stopped wearing medium-full coverage foundations, or tinted sunscreens that had a warm undertone and paired well with this makeup – i.e. never turning orange. However now that only spot conceal and lightly conceal in the center of my face, I have been noticing more and more that all the warm-toned makeup in my skincare collection has been turning slightly orange shortly after it makes contact with my skin. I actually revisited my Merit Beauty vs Current Makeup Collection video and even saw how while both sides looked good, there was something about the slightly cool toned, Merity Beauty side that looked a bit better.

For the first time in my life, I did a very obvious cool-toned makeup look with ashy browns and very purple berry colours… And gaddamn it looked good. I always stuck to mauves in winter and peach in summer, but never ventured too far with the cool-toned makeup. I have to say, cool-toned makeup suits my cool, olive undertone skin way more. I did a cool-toned look a few weekends ago for an event and I never questioned the colour of the makeup and how cohesive the overall look was. I still kept some warm-toned makeup though – the ones that I find still look good on me especially in the warmer months, the colours that bring me joy.


Interests Beyond Skincare

Ever since reducing the noise of skincare on my social media and Youtube, I have been interested in more topics outside of skincare – a lot which focus on my self-growth.

Language Learning. I am currently learning Bulgarian and it’s really renewed my interest in language learning in general. Fun fact, I speak a bit of French (all Canadian kids have to take French class for a number of years) and I also learned Italian (forgot a lot of it, I’m a False Beginner again lol). I was taking Bulgarian classes before to give me a good schedule, but now I am attempting some self-studying.

Fitness. The time has finally come – I have been working out for 3 months straight, 3-4x a week! I first started with Shelley Darlington’s lockdown workout playlist at home. The last 2 months (and now this month of July) I have been going consistently. I have always liked the results I got and now that I’m in my 30s, I want to have a family and also live a healthy life with little to no problems. So all in all, it’s good that I finally got into the habit of going to the gym – willingly :).

Fashion. I’ve been watching a lot of informative videos on yin and yang in body types (i.e. Kibbe), essence, and colour analysis. Looking at my current wardrobe since doing a mass declutter, I have seen a pattern with the types of materials, silhouettes and colours I gravitate towards and it’s become a real “AHA” moment in my fashion development. I have been in uniform-required schooling and jobs for a good chunk of my life, so I feel like I’m finally understanding myself more through fashion.


Now that it is just past 6 months into this Low Buy year, I feel like I’ve finally escaped the beauty trap. I lost my impulsivity to buy and I don’t have FOMO for new releases. I also stopped watching a lot of skincare and makeup content which made up a bulk of my social media for years and added fuel to my unnecessary spending. Now, the vicious cycle of spending in the beautysphere has come to a halt and seeing how I’ve developed in the past 6 months is a real testament to that.


How’s your low buy year going? Have you also been decluttering, picking up additional interests, discovering you’re green? Let me know!

xo, M

Low Buy Update #1: 3 Month Check-In + Skincare Empties

Spring is finally here, that means it’s time for a check-in to see how well I’m progressing with my Low Buy 2022 Challenge after 3 months – and skincare empties, of course!

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my blog post Let’s Low Buy 2022 – here I write about why I am doing this challenge, what I hope to achieve, my rules, and how I am going to hold myself accountable. As a random person on the internet who is sharing this Low Buy challenge, the main way I am publicly holding myself accountable is by doing seasonal (3-month) check-ins; I talk about my successes and challenges with the challenge, as well as sharing all my skincare empties!


3 Months of Low Buying – How It’s Going So Far

2022 is flying by – I can’t believe it’s already April as I sit down and write this post! Although it’s been a speedy 3 months, I feel that the Low Buy challenge for the most part has been rather successful.

No More Freebies

I have been contacted by various PR companies and brands for campaigns, to which I respectfully declined. I was interested in a few of them, but right now I really want to focus on the goal at hand!

Remove Temptations

This rule has been the most successful thus far. For example, I did not even know the Sephora VIB Sale was taking place until a few youtubers I watch talked about it! I unsubscribed from Sephora’s newsletter a while ago, as well as unfollowed various brand social media accounts and uninstalled shopping apps. The only purchases I have made this year (stay tuned) have been skincare products that are directly replacing an empty in my skincare routine and/or a skincare product I keep on rotation for emergency breakout/impaired skin barrier days.

Let it Marinate

I have not impulse shopped since Deciem’s Black Friday sale of 2021 *pat on back*. Instead, I have created a wishlist of skincare products I am very interested in! If I ever feel the urge to buy something, I first take a look at my skincare routine as well as collection to make sure the item I want to purchase is unique and not similar to something I already have.

Empty Before Newbie

This has been the more challenging rule out of the 5 I have created for this Low Buy! I am a lover of skincare, and as someone who does reviews every so often, I like drawing comparisons. I like saving the skincare item I like when opening a new product because in the off-chance I don’t like the newer one, I have the original to fall back on if I decide to use up the new one or give it away. There are also items I have opened up that are quite similar, but to me their primary function is different. Further tangent on this in the video!

No Makeup

The easiest rule so far! I have not felt the need to purchase any makeup because I have been happy and content with my current collection. I think I’ll be downsizing it further soon!


Skincare Empties

The visual of how my Low Buy challenge is progressing – skincare empties! Below is a list of the empties names and links. Please note that products marked with an “*” indicates a PR item or gift. Links marked with “*” indicate an affiliate link – by clicking on this link and making a purchase, I earn a small commission. MICHXMASH Disclosure

Bioderma H2O Hydrabio Micellar Water
* https://rstyle.me/+ATLVDyAd1DbDVm7hWAduAw

Geek & Gorgeous Jelly Joker Low pH Gentle Cleanser
* https://iaff.geekandgorgeous.com/118-11-3-15.html

Bonajour Eggplant Daily BHA Toner
* https://rstyle.me/+x2WxopcSUxsVoPHwttcfEg

Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Body Spray
* https://rstyle.me/+71SiyGmURtLOQC29SmRI1A

* Rovectin Biome Ampoule
* https://rstyle.me/+k6oUegjchUeTt4TGsIRosw

The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%
* https://rstyle.me/+-qLkCsCdOXyoB3OHzKw1Fw

* Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+N8q_MV80aDrGFVVOKsFThg

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+7u2rLKkhbVyoXyLn-4vsNw

* Charcoal & Rose Petals Body Butter
https://charcoalandrosepetals.ca/collections/cream-lotion-body-butter/products/essential-oil-body-butter?variant=36442599063713

Shyne Body Butter Island Vanilla
* https://rstyle.me/+xgllPISnxv4UiISjqnHbIQ

Eucerin Rich Replenishing Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+BvnY7QLpGvS3PIAJdgryxA

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+HEwhGhvxihj981FmuRl8BA

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume
* https://rstyle.me/+53FftnxpnGicuzKJTUhk8Q

La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50+ Ultra Fluid Invisible Finish Lotion
* https://rstyle.me/+e6I8cgrNI5PIHKNfONPCiQ

SVR Sun Secure Mousse Cream SPF 50
https://www.caretobeauty.com/us/svr-sun-protection/svr-sun-secure-blur-optical-mousse-cream-spf50-50ml/

And that’s all for my first Low Buy update! How has yours been going so far? Any rules working for you, or what do you find challenging? Let me know in the comments down below!

xo, M

Let’s Low Buy! My Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism

I mentioned in my first declutter video that I’ve been inspired by minimalism content. It peaked my interest because in 2021 I felt very overwhelmed and frustrated with skincare; At the time, I coudn’t really figure out why.

I’ve come to realize that it was due to a few things: I felt discontent about my skin, had an accumulation of unused skincare products I no longer cared for, lacked motivation to write/film anything, and overall just felt “meh.” Like all lows, there’s only going up! I eventually got over my rut and got my groove back. This is where the point of this post begins!

My 2021 end-of-year faves video featured 15 products. These were all new products I purchased this year. What you don’t know is that in the background I have 50-80+ other skincare items – opened, unopened, expired, forgotten.

That doesn’t factor in my hair and body products, gadgets, makeup, nail polish. At first I thought it was just PR items sent to me that I didn’t give away and wanted to keep. But when I sat down and looked through the items, 90% or more were purchased by me.

For those of you new to my corner of the internet, my name is Michelle, I started my blog and YouTube channel to not only review skincare products, but to share my clear skin journey and put out to the world that you’re not alone in the struggle to clear skin. This blog, my YT channel, was supposed to be my creative outlet, something fun.

I got excited when brands started reaching out for PR opportunities and I also participated in review giveaways for online retailers. But then this all started to feel like a job. So I started hauling skincare more frequently and taking on PR opportunities because I felt like I needed to be consistent with my “work”. And this feeling of it being a second job is what began my discontent. I couldn’t keep track of my collection, everything started to feel the same, all the while having this underlying feeling that I was becoming a place for free labour and advertisement.

Now these companies are not to blame, I was the one who agreed to these terms, to accept the product in exchange for review, to meet a deadline. I’ve also never felt negative about affiliates like Wishtrend – I’ve always been able to take my time with reviews and I’ve given a fare share of negative ones. I also found some great products through PR in general.

But I did have to put other skincare on the backburner for these reviews (my purchases) because I do want to thoroughly test products before sharing my thoughts with you all. However this has now lead to me having what I think is an absurd amount of skincare for one person – most of which I purchased, have been opened and I don’t know if I can use them all up in a timely manner while trying to test out products to review.

So I have decided that for 2022 I am going to do a low buy. Although my content is mostly fixated around skincare – makeup, bodycare and such can definitely fall into this as well! So it’ll mostly be rules for the beauty realm in general, but for me it’s mostly about reducing my skincare spending.


Why I’m doing a Low Buy for 2022

Empties from 2019

Declutter Backburner Beauty Products

Simply put, I want to reduce the products I have. I have come to know my likes and dislikes and it’s obvious what I like reaching for and what I forgot existed. It’s not good to buy new products, put older ones on the backburner and let them be unused, expire, and ultimate become unnecessary waste.

Have Mental Clarity

I was surrounded by stuff that I felt pressured to create content about but wasn’t quite ready to share my thoughts on. I’ve come to understand what my testing/reviewing habits and methods are, and having a bulk of opened, unused skincare confused my direction. I wasn’t enjoying blogging and filming anymore because I felt like I was surrounded by stuff and I didn’t know where to begin. I’m hoping by decluttering, reducing my spending, I will have better direction and organization with my content in the future, and bring back more joy I had in skincare.

Have More with Less

Part of this interest in minimalism relating to my beauty product accumulation was lowering my reliance on the need to feel the best through products. Don’t get me wrong, my skincare is my self-care and applying makeup feels therapeutic. But I don’t want to feel a heavy reliance and be surrounded by skincare, makeup, things in general, to feel whole. It’s funny – I used to love seeing all my products on the bathroom counter and my vanity, now I just want clear surfaces and a bin of my trusty go-tos.


My Low Buy Rules for 2022

Press Samples from Wishtrend.

No More Freebies

I will not be accepting any more PR, gifts, participating in review giveaways, until I reduce my current collection. Freebies will be at a halt unless I get offered an item I planned on purchasing/repurchasing, or if it was gifted by a family member/friend.

Remove Temptations

Avoid what caused me to buy a lot in the first place! This all falls under “Online Window Shopping” because it’s so easy nowadays to access online retailers and make a purchase.

  • Unsubscribe to emails – Always contains FOMO content like limited time deals, free shipping, limited stock.
  • Unfollow social media accounts – I was moreso effected by brand accounts themselves for they created the prettiest content of their products, and would have giveaways.
  • Uninstall shopping apps – I’ve already removed a couple from my phone, but the biggest one was Amazon. Us North Americans will know, that Prime delivery is dangerous for impulse shopping!
  • Remove myself from my device when I’m “bored” shopping – If I have spare time at work or am feeling bored in general, I take a breather and literally look outside, take a walk, do a chore, something other than mindlessly shop.

Let it Marinate

Prevent impulse buying, give yourself time to think about this upcoming purchase. It can be 24 hours minimum up to a week to evaluate this. During that time, check your current collection to make sure you’re not doubling up on something already.

Empty Before Newbie

Be close to finishing what I own before considering purchasing something, or using up what’s in my skincare stash first!

No Makeup

I have been on a foundation free kick since 2019 and it’s helped me come to like my face and skin more for what it is. I hauled quite a bit of makeup in 2021, all products that cater to my current aesthetic and I’m very happy with what I have. Having said that, I don’t find a need to want more and am very content shopping my stash. The only items I would consider replacing are brow gel and mascara, but even then I haven’t worn mascara in a long time!


How I Will Hold Myself Accountable to my Low Buy Rules

Is me

As a content creator, how will my audience know I am holding myself accountable? It’s easy to just monitor myself but I do want those of you reading/watching to be in the know, especially if you feel like you’re in the same boat as I am.

Seasonal Empties + Check In

No better way to show I decluttered and used up my existing stash than to do empties videos! Instead of making it a monthly thing, seasonal seems appropriate. With the seasonal empties I’ll also touch upon my progress in general and how I’m feeling about the Low Buy year.

Empties and Newbies

This type of content will showcase what’s replacing what in my skincare routine. I find it will be a good way for those of you interested to keep track as to what I’m using, it’ll also point out whether the newbies are from my stash or purchases.

Speak to Someone Before a Purchase

I always speak to my husband before I pull the trigger and make a purchase. I have noticed in recent times however that I’m quite silent about my skincare hauls, and he always seemed surprised by the packages we had to pick up at our local post office πŸ˜€ He’s typically pretty supportive of my purchases, so I know I can count on him to tell me when I’m going out of line.


So friends, will you be doing a low buy year with me? Do you also cave to the skincare/makeup/beauty craze? If so, I hope my personal low buy rules for 2022 help you out as well.

Also – Happy New Year! Stay positive, be healthy, say “I love you” to your family and friends.

xo, M